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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  November 11, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EST

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. . back where so gallantly streaming. and did their rocket to read blad glare,
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>> ♪ that our flag was still there oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave ♪ o'er the land of the freight and the home of the brave ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the retiring of the colors.
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now, please welcome our master of ceremonies, former secretary of veteran affairs, the hon. anthony principi. [applause] >> good morning and let me add my welcome to all of you. our special guest and longtime friend at this special gathering, speaker pelosi, veteran affairs secretary shinsecki, the cgressmen, welcome and thank you for being here. disabled veterans like memorial foundation lois pope, german art wilson and the board, and my colored former va secretary gordon mansfield, it is a
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privilege to have you all with us. thank you for being part of this event to break ground for the american veterans disabled for like memorial. this will be the first national tribute to the service and sacrifice of america's disabled veterans and to celebrate the aspirant -- the inspiring accomplishment of these great men and women. they are the reason we ar so dedicated to creating a more moral in their honor in our nation's capital and as part of that effort, a commemorative coin, a dollar was produced by the united states meant to help fund of the memorial. today there are more than 3 million disabled veterans and many thousands of american service members have been wounded or otherwise disabled in iraq, afghanistan, and the war on terrorism. the values of those we honor our values that have sustained our nations throughout our history. the values of duty, honor, and our country. these men and women carry the
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torch of freedom high when they were called upon to do so. many of them paid a high price for their service in our nation's defense. those disabilities, lifelong disabilities are part of the continuing cost of war. that is why it is so important the american veterans disabled for like a moral become reality. we need an inspiring reminder to future generations who will visit this site and a tribute to this service and sacrifice that these young men and women made for our nation and the ideals of freedom and democracy that we hold so dear let's get things started this morning with an invocation by va chaplain cross. [applause] >> with our heads in a moment of
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prayer. dear lord, we come today in a spirit of reflection, thanksgiving, and some sense of joy as you wreck -- as we recognize and celebrate our brave men and women who face danger in defense of our nation and through your problems or allow the opportunity to return home to their country and to their loved ones. we ask for your continued blessings on those who served and also on this very special occasion as week break ground for the disabled american veterans for life memorial. it is very proper that we should be here because this memorial will forever remind us of the suffering, of the service, and of the sacrifice of those who return but still carried the wounds of war daily. we pray that this memorial will be a source of inspiration and encouragement for all to experience. we also recognize that this
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occasion is made possible to the diligent work and contribution of miss lois pope and mr. arthur wilson and secretary jesse brown. for this will also offer thanks. we ask blessings on all those in attendance and their work, care, and concern and we pray, amen. >> thank you for those very inspiring words of prayer. >> let me introduce someone to share personal thoughts and insights into what this memorial means to disabled veterans. nancy pelosi is in her second term as speaker of the house of representatives. having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as speaker of the
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house. key legislative accomplishments under her leadership include a new gi education bill for veterans of iraq and afghanistan war is an increase services for the veterans, caregivers, and veterans administration, advanced appropriations for veterans' health care, and many others. representative pelosi made history in 2002 when house democrats elected her the first woman to lead a major political party. she brings to the speaker's role more than 23 years of experience in the house, representing the city of san francisco since 1987. before being elected democratic leader, she served as house democrats for one year. speaker policy comes from a strong family tradition of public service. her late father served as the mayor of baltimore for 12 years have after representing the city for five terms in congress.
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her brother also served as mayor of baltimore. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. [applause] >> thank you very much. good morning. what a beautiful morning it is, so appropriately so that we can have a perfect day to take an action as the chaplain said that is appropriate for us to do. i want to thank anthony, we italian-americans take great pride in each other's work and i thank him for his generous introduction and for your service, mr. secretary, winning the bronze star for valor in the navy and earning respect for our nation's veterans as secretary of veterans affairs. we're all very, very proud of
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you and it is appropriate that you lead our presentation today. it is an honor to be here with secretary sinn secchi, a great leader of the department of veterans affairs. he, too, a decorated soldier in his own right, firmly committed to the health, well-being, and future of all veterans, thank you, mr. secretary shinsecki. i first met him in bosnia, outside of sarajevo. went to visit him there to see his leadership, his concern for our troops, are subject in a strip protection -- are subject event was a troop protection. i would like to acknowledge and joined the secretary and acknowledging so many people who were responsible for making today possible who also are also responsible for protecting the american people the chairman of the board, lois pope, arthur
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wilson, and all the leaders of the disabled veterans like memorial foundation. for your dedication to this cause and for your determination did you do right by our wounded soldiers. i believe gary sinise, thank you for serving as the national spokesperson. thank you for being there for our veterans. thank you for using the profits of your celebrity with passion and commitment to our veterans. very generously, the secretary reference my family. four of my brothers or veterans and served in the military. when i was a girl, my father bought a boat -- brought the baltimore orioles to baltimore and they built a stadium and what would they name it? there was all kinds of competition. it was clear the consensus choice would be to college baltimore memorial stadium in
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honor of the service of our veterans. so that every one who went there would always know that as we went forward, we did so with our veterans and those who lost their lives in their hearts. time did not dim the glory of their deeds. every moral to our veterans shares that thought. i want to acknowledge soon-to-be chairman mr. rogers. i want to acknowledge him and also i want to acknowledge those who made this legislation possible. in the senate, max cleland and john mccain, bipartisan all the way. in the house, a decorated hero .nd john murtha
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i am sorry he can't be with us today because this was such a high priority for him. there was no question that the funding for this memorial would happen. i want to acknowledge all of their strong leadership. today in breaking ground on the american veterans disabled for light tomorrow, we sat down a marker in that same tradition to remember the true cost of war as the secretary said and the cost of war and conflict to our troops and their families. we pay tribute to the sacrifice of those who served and came home changed forever but not their spirits. just physically and gave up part of their lives abroad so that we could be safe at home. in a bipartisan way, we at congress in november of protecting the american people is our first responsibility and our veterans do just that.
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when they are disabled, we need to be there for them and make sure everyone remembers the sacrifice. president kennedy, who was elected president two days ago, 50 years ago, this week, 50 years ago said we will pay any price, you know the rest of the quote. many of you have paid more of price than the rest of us. we need to acknowledge that in every way. i am very proud of the work that was done in the congress for our veterans but i want to make the additional point that when we did the new gi bill and increase the timely and reliable funding for the va and the veterans budget passed by largest budget and health care these were
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priorities that the veterans brought to us. there are so many needs and we would -- we do need a regular basis to say what are the priorities. is that the disability tax? is it survivor benefits? what are the priorities? those were our marching orders. i thank my colleagues for their leadership by more important than that, i thank the veterans community for making all that possible under the leadership of president barack obama. together, all these accomplishments are bigger than anything since the original g.i. bill in 1944. as we come together here, it is important to acknowledge that we still have some needs that we have to address. we will fight to ensure that veterans health does not become privatized. that is a very important for us.
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we need your priorities to vote for it in the name of all veterans, past, present, and future we break ground today to ensure that time does not dim the glory of their deeds, that time hold these deeds in the highest esteem, that the flame of the center of the memorial, the flame of their deeds of burns eternal, very internal -- very important. johnnie d'qalessandro died at the battle of the bulge. my father mourned the loss of his brother at but the pride -- but took pride in the sacrifice he made for our country. the tribute for those who lost their lives continues. today we take a very specific step in recognizing those who are disabled and continued to
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contribute to the strength of america in so many ways. as we approach veterans day, we reaffirm our commitment to the patriotism, the courage, and service of all men and women in uniform whether they are in the theater of battle or wherever they serve our country. because of them, because of view, we are a land of the free and the home of the brave. in building this memorial, we are taking the critical step for in fulfilling our pledge that just as our troops leaves no one behind in the battlefield, when they come home, we leave no veteran behind. thank you to all of you who are working to make this memorial a reality. god bless our veterans. god has truly blessed america with our veterans and may god bless america, thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> thank you, madam speaker and by gilbert caring for our men and women in uniform. roberto, bobby barrerra is truly an extraordinary man who knows how to get the job done very bobby has been the man out front and the veterans committee for a number of years. his immediate past as national commander of the stabled -- of the disabled veterans. bobby is a combat disabled marine corps veteran of the vietnam war. he was seriously injured in 1969 when enemy forces and exploded a 500-pound bomb beneath the armored personnel carrier he was traveling in. the explosion and fire that ripped through the vehicle burned and bobby over 40% of his body. battling courageously to overcome the physical and
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mental challenges he faced, bobby earned his bachelor's degree in psychology at st. mary's university and later earned a master of education degree in guidance and counseling. in addition to teaching high school, his career has included positions of leadership and management as a juvenile probation counselor and as the director of the family support center at laughlin air force center in texas. he has received enormous awards and honors, among them the dav outstanding disabled veteran of the year and the unsung hero award. bobby is a leader of his humility and his compassion have touched the lives of fellow disabled veterans and their families as few others have done. ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to present to you bobby barrera. [applause]
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>> thank you so much, mr. secretary. good morning to everyone. this is truly a remarkable day. we are here to mark a major milestone in the quest to create the first national memorial honoring the service and a sacrifice of our nation's disabled veterans. i want to thank each one of you for being here with us this morning. the american veterans disabled for life memorial that will rise from the ground that we break today will make a very powerful statement. [no audio] [laughter]
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last year, we participated in a fly over at the indy 500 race as the opening ceremony and as the desk 25 bombers flew over the race. on the two days before the actual race, orientation flights in the aircraft were provided to certain of the ip's. the most important of those vips were returning troops who had been injured in iraq and afghanistan. one of the man that was present had been paralyzed from the waist down. his father pushed the young man in his wheelchair. to enter the b-25 bomber, one has to climb up a steep latter under the belly of the aircraft.
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i had already flown in it so i knew what a challenge it would be for this young man to enter the aircraft. i kept thinking to myself," how is he going to enter this aircraft?" when it was time for the young man's flight, the father wrote the wheelchair right under the aircraft. he walked around in front of the wheelchair with his back to his son. the son leaned forward, grabbed his arms, grabbed his father by the neck and by the shoulders, and lean forward as much as he could. then, with his son on his back, the father climbed up the ladder on the aircraft. that moment took me back some 40 years when i began my journey as a disabled veteran. at that time, during those years, i, too, was carried.
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when i thought that i could not take another step, when i thought that everything was so dark, when i thought that i had not a future, when i thought that i could not continue my life, i was carried. you might ask why do i share this story with you. because what we are doing today, breaking ground for this memorial is a direct reflection of all disabled veterans and their journeys that began when they answered the call to duty. those journeys continue throughout their honorable service through the trauma of injuries and it continues today through their recovery and their renewal of purpose. what that father did for his son
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in indianapolis that day clearly demonstrated that he would never abandon his son. this memorial that you are billed -- building clearly demonstrates that the american people will never abandon our nation's disabled veterans. [applause] within full vieof the capital, the american veterans the disabled for life memorial will be a poignant reminder that our nation has a duty as the speaker and the secretary have pointed out that our nation has the responsibility to those who have given so much of themselves. all who served sure the horror, the brutality, and the hardships of defending our nation
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especially true in wartime. all have given of themselves, some to great degrees. the memorial is intended to bring a greater awareness of what disabled veterans have already sacrificed for us, more than that, the american veterans disabled for life memorial is also a tribute to what disabled veterans can accomplish. disabled veterans know the challenges of rebuilding and resuming a normal life they have not only overcome their disabilities but they have excelled in life. those before you today, those of you out in the audience, are the fine examples of what i am sharing with you. the memorial will not only on the disabled veterans of all
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five branches of service, by the way, happy birthday, marines, it will also educate the public and remind the nation about vital issues concerning disabled veterans because the american public cannot be allowed to simply forget disabled veterans once the wars have ended. and then the media turned their attention to other topics. throughout our history, we have erected monuments to eric karros and we -- we have erected monuments to our heroes. valor has come up short in america -- in honoring disabled veterans to continue to bear the deepest wounds and the scars of war well after the guns have fallen silent. by honoring these men and women, this memorial will be a solemn
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declaration that america is forever grateful to her disabled veterans, a declaration that america will never forget their service and will never forget their continued sacrifice. with the generous support of you, the organizations, the american veterans disabled for like memorial will soon become one of our nation's most treasured landmarks. thanks again to each of you who have joined us in this journey. together, we are making this dream a reality. i take great pride on behalf of all our nation's disabled veterans. from deep within our hearts, we say thank you, america. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you, bobbie. what a wonderful moving reflection of what this memorial truly means. in 1998, lois pope joined art wilson and the late secretary of veterans affairs, jesse brown to create the disabled veterans like memorial foundation. it is her fondest wish to honor the more than 3 million living disabled veterans including recently disabled veterans who served in the war in iraq and afghanistan as well as all those throughout our history. the american veterans disabled for like a moral is scheduled to be completed and dedicated in 2012. one of america's leading philanthropists, mrs. pope enter
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private charitable foundations have provided funds for medical research, summer camp programs, and other programs. it is my great, great pleasure to introduce the driving force, the heart and soul behind the american veterans disabled for life memorial. a lady of uncommon vision and dedication, mrs. lois paul, the founder of the disabled for life veterans morial. [applause] >> good morning. it is great to be here and it is great to have all of you here with us this morning.
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as it has done for decades, our nation will pay tribute to more, november 11, to our veterans for the tremendous sacrifices they have made for our people and for our way of life. today, here in the shadow of the united states capitol, we break ground on a memorial that will honor the 3 million living disabled veterans and the millions who have died and tragically all those who will come because of the war on terrorism. the hundreds of disabled veterans who are with us this morning represent all their brothers and sisters. they are soldiers of every race, every creed, every color who have been severely injured while defending our freedom.
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far too often they have been neglected, suffering long after the battle has been one and the guns have grown silent. this ceremony is just the first step, a small part of repaying what we. owe we [inaudible]s, liberated the victims of nazi oppression, helped sustain those in wartime prisons, and freed a continent and the world from the yoke of tyranny. in the 1950's, they were our warriors on the battlefield in korea. theye 1960's and 1970's, fought in the marshlands and jungles of vietnam. in the 1980's and 1990's, they serve our nation into hot spots around the world, of granada,
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bosnia, and elsewhere. today, they are defending us in the global war on terrorism. since the beginning of this conflict, tens of thousands of men and women have been wounded in action, some, thank god, were minor ones but far too many of these brave men and women will carry their scars and disabilities for life. we owed them so much and we can never thank them enough. but the american veterans disabled for life memorial will go a long way to showing our admiration, our respect, and our gratitude. our journey to get this moment a groundbreaking began in 1998 when i met with jesse brown.
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the secretary of veterans affairs and with art wilson, the national adjutant and chief executive of the disabled american veterans. together, we formed the disabled veterans foundation and begin our 12-year effort to build this permanent public tribute to these unsung heroes. my personal commitment to veterans began decades before that. i won't tell you how many because those of you who are good in arithmetic can figure out how old i am. if i was a singer back then and was performing for a group of the vietnam-era soldiers at a rehabilitation institute in new york. seeing them there and realizing how much each had given to our country is when i made a promise, a promise that if i ever had the financial means to
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do more than just a visit and entertaining, i would do all in my power to honor their service in a more meaningful wa fast-forward to 1995 when i was at the vietnam veterans memorial to remember my first cousin who had died in that war. when i asked a park ranger to point out to me where the memorial was for disabled veterans was located, he told me that no such memorial and existed. i said there has to be one. he pulled out a map and said there is the washington, the jefferson, there is the lincoln, the caribbean but there is no moral for disabled veterans. that was the moment when i realized what my life's purpose would be, to build a memorial to you disabled veterans. to make sure that you and your sacrifices will always be
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remembered and to teach our children, to teach our children. and our grandchildren and all generations to come about the human, the human cost of war. today, that dream as one step closer to becoming a reality. to borrow a phrase from abraham lincoln," walz will little note or remember what i have said here today but we will never forget what you have done, what you have done for the lands that we love and our liberty." thank-you disabled veterans, thank you for all your sacrifice that you have made for our freedom and our democracy, the american way of life. god bless america. [applause]
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>> thank you, mrs. pope for making this day possible and you're very moving words. our next guests caught the attention of the veterans community by is sensitive, respectful and utterly unforgettable role as a double amputee vietnam combat veteran in the widely acclaimed movie," forrest gump." lieutenant dan has become legendary. it is my great, great pleasure to introduce gary sinise. [applause]
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>> i give very much. good morning. what a day. they asked me to try to explain a little bit about why i have been involved so i will attempt to do that for those of you that might not know. president john adams once said," you will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. i hope you'll make good use of it." since the beginning of our great democracy thrive many generations, the young people we have sent out to war have paid enormous price so that we may live in freedom. many have paid with their lives, far too many have paid with parts of their bodies and in some cases, their minds. indeed, of the more than 26 million veterans living today, over 3 million are permanently disabled for injuries suffered in our nation's defense. unfortunately , many of these great fares have
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not been treated as they should. far too many have been marginalized or even forgotten altogether. coming from my family were a number of relatives have proudly worn the various uniforms of our armed services, i have learned from them about the tragedies and triumphs of war. my grandfather served in the army in world war one, driving an ambulance on the front lines in france. my two uncles served in world war to kick, one with the nav in the pacific and the other as a navigator on a b-17 bomber flying and surviving 30 missions over europe. my father served in the navy and the 1950's. my wife's two brothers both served in army and fought in vietnam. one was a helicopter pilot and the other an infantry officer who graduated from west point and served two tours in vietnam and went on to become a lieutenant-colonel. a born leader, he wrote a
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leadership 904 united states army before he passed away from cancer at age 39 while serving at fort leavenworth. i spent a lot of time talking and learning about the vietnam war from him. my wife's sister was in the army for 10 years, retired as a captain, and her son, my nephew, just returned from afghanistan, an infantryman. i did not serve myself but i am especially proud of my family members to have. in the early 1980's, i have the honor of directing a play in chicago that was written by a group of vietnam war veterans based on their experiences during that war. the time spent with these veterans along with my wife's two brothers and another brother in law was a medic in vietnam, left a lasting impression on me. i have committed my time and energy to veterans ever since. in 1993, i had the distinct
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honor of portraying a disabled vietnam veteran on screen. having spent so much time with veterans, i felt i was well prepared and eager to play the role of lt. dan in the film "forrest gump." such moments are rare for an actor. playing this role changed me and educated me about the strength and character of our disabled veterans. the story of lt. dan is a hopeful and positive story of triumph over adversity. he is driven by his desire to serve and to devote his life in service to this country when he is severely injured and his dream of becoming a great officer is altered, he goes for understandable paying an anchor but he eventually learns to accept and live with his disability. in the end, he finds peace. the final image is one of great
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power. lieutenant dennis standing strong and proud. he has put his energy -- injury in perspective and moved on probably the ultimate recognition for an actor is winning an oscar but for me it was another a war that holds the most cherished spotted my heart. -- a spot in my heart. that honor came in 1994 from the disabled american. american decided me at their national convention for my portrayal of lt. gen. it was a great moment. standing in front of thousands of these heroes that night, men and women who will never have the same opportunity to stand, i could not have been more moved. yes, it was heart wrenching, but it was also heart warming. have met many veterans with
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catastrophic injuries but despite their disabilities, like lieutenant dan, they demonstrated an unflinching will not just to survive but to flourish. i was so inspired when that first introduction the night of their national convention that from my moment -- from that moment on, i have state actively involved and was honored and humbled several years ago when art wilson asked me to become the national spokesperson for the american veterans disabled for light memorial. i am privileged to have helped raise money, dawn public service announcements to promote the effort and for the past five years, my band, the lieutenant dan band, has performed at the dav national convention. [applause] starting in 2003, after we went to afghanistan and iraq, three
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or four times a year since then, i have visited the walter reed and medical center, bethesda naval center, san diego, and various other hospitals here at home and overseas. and each of these visits, i am struck by the humility of the men and women receiving treatment. their courage and determination, their acceptance and their dedication to our country and their fellow warriors. london and to these brave men and women is truly one of the most rewarding things i have done in my life. for all they have done and all they have sacrificed, they don't ask much in return. hall knowing they are not forgotten and that their sacrifice is appreciated makes a world of difference. that is why we are here today. , to make a world of difference. war is not like what you see in
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the movies or on tv. or is very real and while many of these veterans have adjusted to their disabilities, there will always be a constant reminder of the hell they went through. a reminder that they and their care givers live with each and every day. they may have vanquish our nation's enemies but their personal enemy, lives defined by their disabilities, afflictions, and physical and emotional scars remains constant and permanent. we cannot give them back their real arms and legs. we cannot give them back their eyes, their ears, pieces of themselves that have been lost, the mines that have been altered but we can give them hovered and we must give them a respect and our everlasting appreciation. for me personally being part of this memorial effort, and my involvement as its national
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spokesperson is a way of saying thank you to my family and friends who have served and to the thousands of disabled veterans i have met during my visits to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and through the disabled american veterans association, meeting and getting to know so many of you maz-mat me not just a better actor. you have maybe a better man. to the millions of disabled veterans who have served, it will be a way for all of us, this memorial, to say thank you to all of them as it will be our lasting tribute to insure that the sacrifices are always remembered. calvin coolidge once said," a nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." that, ladies and gentleman, is
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why the disabled veterans disabled for like moral is so important for it is more than the nation's first public tribute to more than 3 million living disabled veterans and the countless hundreds of thousands who have died. it will show america's eternal gratitude to the men and women whose lives were forever changed in service to our country and in the cause of freedom. america cannot and will not forget its defenders. it has been my privilege to serve in this effort. thank you to all of you who have contributed to making this dream that lois, art, and jessiehad years ago into a reality today. god bless you and god bless america. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you so much, lt. dan. we owe you an enormous tribute. it is indeed a privilege to introduce our next speaker. checker terry shinsecki graduated from we point. in a few weeks, we will watch the big game in philadelphia and whoever wins that contest, the young man like secretary shinsecki, shortly after the game is over will put on the uniform and many will go off and served in afghanistan and iraq. secretary shinsecki served two combat tours when he was winded. as a disabled veteran, he remains on active duty. during his military career, he served as commanding general united states army europe and
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seventh army commanding general nato land forces in europe and the matter of the nato-led stabilizing force in bosnia. in 1999, general shinsecki was appointed chief of staff of the army and retired in 2003 after 38 years of service in uniform. on december 7, 2008, he was nominated by president barack obama to lead the department of veterans affairs and was confirmed by the united states senate on january 20, 2009 and was sworn in at this -- as the seventh secretary of veteran affairs on january 21, 2009. ladies and gentlemen, secretary of veterans affairs and dav life member eric k. shinsecki. [applause] >> thank you very much for that
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very kind introduction. and also for your past leadership as secretary of va, great leadership. let me also with all the marines present a happy birthday and then promise all of you a good account in a couple of weeks and army and navy show up. let me further acknowledge the speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. madam speaker, thank you for honoring us with your presence here today. thank you for your leadership along with president obama, you and the leadership of the congress have done tremendous work for veterans this year. we are indebted to you. senator bob dole, i believe, was trying to be here. he is a distinguished soldier and statesman and always great to have an opportunity to share time with him as i did last week as he was looking forward to
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being released from walter reed where he had undergone surgery. ambassador gary dewar from canada and other distinguished guests from canada, thank you for being here this morning and thank you also for the generosity of the reception and luncheon following these ceremonies. members of the va team who are here today, thank you for all you do. i will add my thanks to chairwoman lois pope, to president part a wilson, to national spokesman gary sinise and all the wonderful members of the american veterans disabled for life memorial foundation your efforts to put together this wonderful project. scott brown is here. scotts that has been mentioned several times already, former
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secretary of veterans affairs, jesse brown who signed the original agreement with lois and with art wilson. bobby barrera, i always learn something whenever you get up to speak in public. thank you for your leadership. thank you for your wonderful example of what disabled veterans mean to this country and what will and determination we can accomplish. thanks also to the other veterans service organizations who are represented here today. you all have contributed to making this memorial a reality along with the dav. most important, achieve job -- please join me in recognizing these is disabled veterans who are here in the audience and there are several hundred of us. [applause]
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thank you all. i think you know about it bears repeating -- this ceremony and this memorial are all about you, acknowledging your service, honoring your sacrifice. other distinguished guests i may have missed, fellow veterans, ladies and gentleman, i am honored to join you this morning to break ground on a project that is sure to enhance washington's landscape as well as the symbolism reflected in its landmarks and monuments. our deepest thanks again go to los pope, as chair of the disabled for life memorial foundation has traded legions of supporters across the country for this noble and or the idea with passion and energy. she has been the engine behind the enormous effort to honor men and women of every generation who have given so much.
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for some, everything short of life itself, for our democracy. ms. pope, again, thank you. [applause] george marshall, our great soldiers statesman once described the value of america's defenders." it's impossible for the nation to compensate for the services of a fighting man or today a fighting woman. there is no pay scale that is high enough to bring the services of a single one of them, to buy the services of a single one of them during even a few minutes of the agony of combat, the physical mysteries of the campaigns, or the extreme personal inconvenience of leaving home to go to the most dangerous spots on earth to serve our nation." america has always been blessed with sons and daughters is imbued with the unwavering sense of purpose to something greater
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themselves. that stedfast sense of duty to a nation that we all love. our power as a nation, the rock from that persevering, buoyant, free bread national spirit that has led so many to get what president abraham lincoln called that last full measure of devotion, to safeguard our principles, namely life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. as it was at lexington and concord, it is still today. from bunker hill to baghdad, from basra to kabul, kandahar and points beyond. the price of liberty has been paid through the vigilance and valor of young americans who put principlend ideals before self-interest, comfort, or
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safety. all too often, their noble service ended in life altering injury, stark reminders, physical, emotional, and spiritual, as gary alluded to. stark reminders of freedom's cost. by any measure, there are few who have given more to our country than the 3 million disabled veterans living amongst us. a creation of this moral is fitting tribute to patriots who answered the call of duty and to have in the face of a devastating injury showed us a quality of courage at which we can only marvel. here in the shadow of our nation's capital, the american veterans disabled for like a moral will stand as an enduring tribute to the towering courage, selfless sacrifice, and steadfast loyalty of all of our disabled veterans.
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in the future, its imposing granite walls and cypress trees symbolize the strength of their warrior heritage, the reflecting pool and star-shaped fountain will mirror and reaffirmed their heroism and its interna flying -- its eternal flame will ensure that the passage of time will not dim the memory of such selfless service. i extend to america's disabled veterans deep personal regards and profound respect for your sacrifice. on behalf of the department of veterans affairs, i offer you our respect and admiration for your service and for your courage in living live everyday. on behalf of president barack obama, i extend to you the heartfelt thanks, great respect and dignity for you from your commander in chief. by god bless those who serve and have served in our nation's
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armed forces and my god continue to bless this wonderful country of ours. thank you very much [applause] [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary for your inspiring words. now the moment we have all been waiting for, may i have our distinguished groundbreakers take their place? [no audio]
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[no audio] [no audio]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please break ground. [applause] [no audio] >> please return to your seats.
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thank you very, very much. [applause] [no audio] >> on c-span today, "washington journal" is next, live with your phone calls. later, veterans day -- in 45 minutes, a look at the deficit reduction condition's recommendations with dean baker


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